As a writer and reader, I’m always searching for the alternative history of my lineage. I imagine them as fragments in the path I wasn’t guided down, the one which I still could and will walk down. Coming into a relationship with other queer Asian American speculative poets like Margaret Rhee has meant discovering another entry point—a writing and reading which has been there all along and which I was missing.
A Feminist Legacy
“SF is the only genre of literature in which it’s possible for a writer to explore the question of what this world would be like if you could get rid of [X], where [X] is filled in with any of the multitude of real world facts that constrain and oppress women.”
—Suzette Haden Elgin
When re-envisioning the world, poetry and science fiction have been tools for feminist writers and readers to re-imagine.
SFF is my blanket fort. It's not as durable as an escape pod, but it's a reliable source of comfort and it's bigger inside. It's the meeting place of hope and solidarity among those of us dreaming of better futures.
Five pairs of simple gemstone stud earrings—one garnet, another jade, yet another sapphire, and so on—which each seem to match perfectly in cut and clarity, but upon the closest inspection reveal themselves to be barely similar at all.
The problem is not hard to articulate. A utopia or dystopia will almost certainly be arbitrary, a strictly arbitrated reality presented in term of advocacy or disavowal; but it is something else to narrate one arbitrarily.
Even though developed several decades apart (The Black Panther appeared in 1966, and Coming to America was released in 1988), and written by people on different spectrums of the United States’ Salad Bowl (The Black Panther was developed by Jewish Americans Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, while Coming to America was created by African American Eddie Murphy), both share similarities that make them an interesting comparison in how fictional Africa is perceived and narrated through the lens of mainstream American media, in both positive and negative ways.
Strange Horizons is a weekly magazine of and about speculative fiction. We publish fiction, poetry, reviews, essays, interviews, and art. For more information, see our about page. All material in Strange Horizons is copyrighted to the original authors and may not be reproduced without permission.